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Syngenta’s Proclaim insecticide controls Heliothis

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article image Werribee South vegetable grower, Michael Berton

Syngenta’s  Proclaim is an active insecticide that can be used for the control of Heliothis, especially in vegetables.

Proclaim’s high activity on many lepidoptera pests and relatively low ecological impact make it the ideal solution for growers who want to maximise the result and minimise any effect on beneficial species.

Emamectin, the active constituent of Proclaim, comes from a novel type of chemistry naturally derived from soil bacteria.

A Group 6A insecticide, Proclaim is a semi-synthetic second-generation avermectin. Its mode of action results in paralysis of the pest after intake of the product.

When applied Proclaim is rapidly absorbed into foliage, building a reservoir of active ingredient within the plant for residual control that is protected from wash-off.

Rapid photo degradation of remaining residues on the leaf surface limits the exposure to beneficial species. Once rainfast, Proclaim only affects the target pests that feed directly on treated plant tissue.

Proclaim is IPM friendly: Safety to beneficial insects
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) seeks to incorporate the strategic and responsible use of selective insecticides to effectively control insect pests, while allowing the maintenance of beneficial species.

Proclaim is ideal for use in IPM programmes, being extremely active against target species at low application rates, yet causing minimal disruption to populations of beneficial.

Crop

  • Brassica Vegetables Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprout
  • Cabbages
  • Cauliflower only

Pest

  • Diamondback Moth (Cabbage Moth) (Plutella xylostella)
  • Cabbage White Butterfly (Pieris rapae)

Rate

  • 250 to 300g/ha

Critical comments

Spray at first signs of insect infestation as indicated by local spray thresholds. Use the lower rate on low to moderate infestations. Add Citowett or Agral at the appropriate label rate.

Do not make more than 4 applications to any brassica crop. Where more than 1 crop is grown, do not make more than 4 applications of Proclaim in any 1 year. Proclaim should be used according to Avcare insecticide resistance strategy

Crop

  • Capsicum
  • Lettuce

Pest

  • Heliothis (Helicoverpa armigera, Helicoverpa punctigera)

Rate

  • 150 to 250 g/ha

Critical comments

Spray at first signs of insect infestation as indicated by local spray thresholds. For good results apply soon after the Helicoverpa eggs have hatched.

Do not apply more than 4 sprays of Proclaim per crop. Where more than 1 crop is grown per year do not apply more than 4 sprays per year.

Ensure thorough spray coverage. Use the lower rate when targeting light infestations of small larvae. Use 250g/ha during periods of heavy insect pressure or under hot and sunny conditions. Proclaim should be used according to the AVCARE resistance strategies.

Crop

  • Tomatoes

Pest

  • Heliothis (Helicoverpa armigera, Helicoverpa punctigera)

Rate

  • 150 to 250g/ha or 15 to 25g/100L (dilute spraying) trellised tomatoes
  • Concentrate spraying: Refer to mixing / application section

Critical comments

Spray at first signs of insect infestation as indicated by local spray thresholds. For good results apply soon after the Helicoverpa eggs have hatched.

Do not apply more than four sprays of Proclaim per crop. Where more than one crop is grown per year do not apply more than four sprays per year. Ensure thorough spray coverage. Use the lower rate when targeting light infestations of small larvae.

Use 250g/ha during periods of heavy insect pressure or under hot and sunny conditions. Trellised Tomatoes: In the case of dilute spraying (g/100L) apply in the range of 400 to 500L/ha after transplanting and increase to 800 to 1000L/ha at full canopy. Proclaim should be used according to the CropLife resistance strategies.

Crop

  • Sweet Corn

Pest

  • Heliothis (Helicoverpa armigera, Helicoverpa punctigera)

Rate

  • 150 to 250g/ha

Critical comments

For good results apply just prior to or just after the Helicoverpa eggs have hatched, but before larvae enter the cob. Do not apply more than four sprays of Proclaim per crop.

Where more than one crop is grown per year do not apply more than four sprays per year. Thorough spray coverage is critical.

Larvae present within the cob at the time of spraying may not be controlled. Use the lower rate when targeting light infestations of small larvae. Proclaim should be used according to the CropLife resistance strategies.

Withholding periods:

Brassica Vegetables, Capsicum, Lettuce, Tomatoes

  • Do not harvest for 3 days after application. Do not allow livestock to graze treated crops or crop stubble

Sweet Corn

  • Do not harvest for 3 days after application. Do not graze or cut for stock food for 21 days after application

Proclaim features:

  • Good Heliothis control at low rates
  • Short 3 day withholding period
  • Novel chemistry and mode of action
  • Soluble granular formulation
  • Translaminar activity
  • Rainfast as soon as spray has dried
  • Compatible with Integrated Pest Management programmes
  • Ovi-larvicidal action, effective as the larvae hatch

Benefits

  • Proclaim is more convenient to use than products with longer withholding periods to help reduce the risk of pest damage just before harvest
  • Proclaim is virtually dust free and easy to pour, measure and mix
  • Proclaim cannot be washed off by rain or irrigation once the leaf surface is dry
  • Proclaim has good environmental profile.
  • Surface residues of Proclaim degrade within a few hours of application. Beneficial insects do not come into contact with the active ingredient once surface residues break down.

Defender of the city

With its proven performance and short withholding period, Proclaim insecticide from Syngenta has become a major defence against insect pests in the market gardening areas outside Melbourne. Werribee South supplies a large proportion of Melbourne’s fresh vegetables year-round.

As such, having access to a reliable insecticide that effectively controls Diamondback moth grubs and Heliothis caterpillars in brassica crops and lettuce plays an important role in guaranteeing the city’s supply of fresh food.

Michael Berton is one of the region’s 200 or so market gardeners, growing a range of irrigated lettuces, broccoli and cauliflowers. Three-quarters of his 26 hectare property is sown to a crop at any one time, with each paddock supporting three crops a year.

Larvae hatching from migrating Diamondback moths and Heliothis threaten his crops every summer. Michael Berton said that the grubs burrow into the vegetables and make a real mess.

Michael Berton also added that they are unsaleable in a market that wants pristine produce. The supermarkets have a zero tolerance policy. If they find one grub in a lettuce, the whole load gets knocked back. There’s no mercy.

With the help of agronomists from E.E. Muir & Sons, Michael Berton monitors insect populations and sprays only when necessary.

Depending on the time of year, a typical crop requires up to five applications of insecticide over its eight-to-16 week growing period.

Michael Berton’s spray programme incorporates Proclaim. “It’s quite versatile, very effective in the paddock and easy to apply,” he said.

“Its small granules make it easy to dissolve without any dust. Importantly, it has a withholding period of only three days. A short withholding period is essential when we have to supply at short notice under a quality assurance program.”

Michael Berton prefers to spray at night to improve absorption into foliage and reduce evaporation. “That’s when the insects are more active and feeding, so you’ve got a better chance of getting direct contact. In the hot part of the day they’re having a siesta and spraying is less effective.”

To survive in a market renowned for its insistence on quality, south-east Queensland lettuce grower, Anthony Staatz, relies on fast-acting Proclaim insecticide to keep his crops free of destructive Heliothis caterpillars.

Anthony Staatz grows 200 hectares of Iceberg lettuces on two farms at Gatton in the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane and at Cambooya on the Darling Downs.

He produces almost five million lettuces for the supermarket trade a year, half at Gatton during the mild winter months and half at Cambooya, with its higher altitude and cooler climate, over summer.

Heliothis pose a big threat to his crops. The moths lay their eggs in the lettuce plants and newly hatched larvae chomp their way into the heads, leaving a trail of slimy waste.

Given that single, grub-infested head can cause an entire pallet to be rejected, Anthony said it was vital to destroy hatching larvae as soon as possible.

“Once the eggs hatch you’ve probably only got 12 to 24 hours to clean the larvae up. They burrow four or five layers deep into the lettuce, where you can’t treat them with anything, so application timing is critical. We tend to use Proclaim, sometimes mixed with an ovicide, when the lettuces are starting to cup up. It gives long-lasting protection and is a standout product for Heliothis.”

With Heliothis populations peaking in summer, lettuces at Cambooya typically receive up to eight applications during the six weeks it takes to grow each crop. Fewer sprays are needed in the slower growing winter-grown lettuces at Gatton, where the insect pressure is lower.

Crops are checked two or three times a week, with the crop protection program adjusted according to insect pressure. Anthony Staatz rotates Proclaim with other insecticides to minimise the development of resistance in Heliothis populations.

“We spray every five days throughout summer. We’ll use biological controls if the pressure is low, but under high pressure, we rotate between Proclaim and another product. We also try to understand our beneficial insects, particularly spiders, and how they interact in the system.”

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